Reid: Recess Won’t Start Until After Judicial Nomination Vote

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted April 10, 2014 at 2:56pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in no mood to delay a scheduled confirmation vote for a Ninth Circuit judicial nominee — warning he’ll keep the Senate in session Friday if Republicans don’t consent to an earlier vote.  

“We’re not punting,” the Nevada Democrat told CQ Roll Call when asked if the confirmation vote on President Barack Obama’s choice of Michelle T. Friedland for a seat on the Ninth Circuit would be put off until after the two-week recess.  

The Senate voted, 56-41, to invoke cloture and thus limit debate on that nomination earlier Thursday, with Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joining Democratic caucus members in voting for cloture.  

“I mean, that’s their privilege,” the Nevada Democrat said of Republicans apparent insistence on not yielding back the 30 hours of post-cloture debate time allowed for judicial nominations at the appellate level under the Senate’s rules, adding that it meant the vote would occur Friday.  

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said that he did not anticipate the GOP conference yielding on the 30 hours of post-cloture debate on the Friedland nomination, a point reaffirmed by senior Republican aides, although the success of the nomination is assured.  

If all time is used, confirmation would occur at approximately 5 p.m. Friday. That vote would be immediately followed by a vote to limit debate on the pick of David Weil, a Boston University professor, to be run the wage and hour division at the Department of Labor.  

It’s become typical for the Senate to make quick exits for recess on Thursday afternoons and delay roll call votes until 5:30 p.m. on the Monday the chamber returns to legislative session, but each delay has the potential of consuming more valuable floor time.